Week 6: Partial Weight Bearing Around Town

At my last appointment when the doctor told me I could start partial weight bearing, his instruction for the first week was to just crutch around with my foot down at home and to still continue to use the knee scooter whenever I went out. Somehow I have managed to do the exact opposite of that the last few days. First, there was the jail visit on Thursday where I ended up covering a lot of ground. Then Friday went a little awry. It started out well. I had a friend picking me up for lunch and dropping me at work afterwards and then I was meeting with an expert. It seemed like a good day to not have to wrangle the knee scooter in and out of multiple vehicles. The expert I was meeting with is someone I have worked with for a number of years. In all this time he has been in the same office in the hospital. It is a very short distance from the entrance to the elevator and then just a few meters down a hallway to his office. Very, very doable on crutches.

I Ubered to the hospital with plenty of time to spare. As we got close, I was explaining to the driver exactly where to drop me off when I noticed that there was construction going on in front of the normal entrance. Lots and lots of heavy construction. It was clear that the entrance I had always used was no longer open. We drove around trying to get as close to the right building as possible. I called the expert asking him the best way to get to his office now. He told me there was now only one way to come and it was via the new main entrance far on the other side of the hospital. I started getting upset at how far I would have to go on crutches. The Uber driver started getting upset at how far I would have to go on crutches. The volunteers at the front of hospital offered to get me a wheelchair. I declined and said I would just take directions to the pathology department. It was far. It was going to involve much more time crutching than I had anticipated to get there and I was also going to have to come all the way back once the meeting was over. The only other choice however was to request a wheelchair. Even putting aside the fact that I was there for work and was not a patient, that was just a bridge too far. After what felt like a marathon, I finally arrived at my meeting only five minutes late.

Two and a half hours later it was time to go back. The expert suggested I get a wheelchair. For at least the fifth time that day, I declined. The trip back was long. I made a tactical error in taking the same shortcut through the cafeteria that I had on the way out but found that a heavy door to an outside courtyard that had been open before was now closed. I engaged the door in battle. The battle was not going well but fortunately a nurse spied me from afar and come over to hold the door. Nurses are rather amazing like that. Doctors can watch you getting squished between elevator doors right in front of them without registering that they should push the door button. Nurses on the other hand can sense someone needing help from several blocks away. Eventually I made it to the hospital exit where, due to rush hour traffic, I then endured the longest wait for an Uber I have experienced so far. It was not exactly the restful Friday I had been hoping for.

Yesterday things went a little better. I had a great swim and aqua jog in the morning. In the evening we went out for dinner to belatedly celebrate Husband’s birthday. It was my first foray back into fancy restaurant world since the surgery. A dinner which also included a cheese and chacuterie board and dessert was quite a long time to sit like with my foot down like a civilized human being. It is however the price you pay for dressing up and dining at an establishment that does not lend itself to elevating your foot on a chair. It was a very nice dinner in any case and I managed fine on crutches.

Today was a beautiful day so we decided to go to the beach. It turned out that everyone else decided to do the same. It’s the beginning of the spring break period and of course, it being winter in Florida, we are already besieged by snowbirds clogging the roads. Parking was a nightmare. We were about to turn around and go back home when we finally got a space. The beach was much busier than we would normally choose to endure but it was still the beach on a nice day. Husband, a born and bred Floridian, does not usually entertain the idea of going in the water at this time of year. The water temperature however is already up to 74F/23C so I was definitely not going to leave without getting wet. There was no good way to leave my crutches and boot near the water’s edge without endangering them so I held on to Husband and hopped down sans boot. It was possibly the most risky thing I have done yet. If my doctor could have seen me he probably would have fired me as a patient on the spot. Fortunately I made it in and out of the water and off the beach unscathed.

My dangerously free right foot.

Next weekend, I am doing a 1.2 mile open water swim. It’s sort of the season opener for local open water swimming and triathlon racing and I’ve been looking forward to it for ages. I’ll have to arrange to hand my crutches off to someone and have someone help me out of the water but there should be no shortage of people finishing before me to do that.

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